"I thought, 'I need to do something,' so I started recording those meetings because they say one thing but they do nothing," Biernat told WKBW. "And so you have one recording in March then [a] week later, another recording, and nothing is being done."
The diocese confirmed in a Tuesday statement that Malone had previously asked Biernat to take a leave of absence after Nowak obtained a letter between him and Bojanowski. According to a conversation taped Aug. 2, the bishop was concerned that media coverage would focus on a possible "love triangle" between Nowak, Bojanowski, and Biernat.
According to taped conversations, which date back to March of this year, Malone appears to admit that Bojanowski's accusations are credible, and he considered sending Nowak to the St. Luke's Institute in Maryland for psychiatric treatment.
Bishop Malone referenced Bojanowski's allegations and called them "frightening concerns"; he said that "it became very clear to me that Jeff-- was very interested in a-- an-- I think an inappropriate relationship [for] himself with Matthew."
Malone also receiving a letter from Nowak which he suggests confirms the accusations.
"I got this very carefully crafted-- letter you've all seen now that details, I think, and gives evidence-- that-- that do back up the concerns that Matthew has," Malone said, including the allegations of the violation of the Seal of Confession by Nowak.
Nowak "has some serious, serious issues," Malone concluded. "We're gonna send-- and we're gonna send him off to-- for-- assessment at St. Luke's Institute of Maryland."
Despite this apparent resolution, Malone later said he was concerned that Nowak would "go ballistic" if told he would be sent to St. Luke's. In a taped conversation in July, Malone said that he told Nowak to either "go to Southdown"-an institute in Toronto that specializes in mental health and addiction problems for religious and clergy-or receive a leave of absence, and that Nowack decided to go to Southdown.
Nowak was still in active ministry in the diocese by the beginning of August.
Malone held a press conference Aug. 4 for local reporters selected by the diocese. The bishop said the scandal is a "convoluted matter," according to WIVB4.
At the press conference, Malone emphasized that he does not plan to resign.
"I'm not a masochist-I'm here because I feel an obligation…to carry on," the bishop told reporters, adding that he perceives enough support among local Catholics to continue in his post.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
In a year of scandals related to clerical sexual abuse, Bishop Malone has repeatedly found himself at the center of media attention.
In November, 2018, a former employee leaked confidential diocesan documents related to the handling of claims of clerical sexual abuse.
Last month, a RICO lawsuit was filed against the diocese and the bishop, alleging that the response of the diocese was comparable to an organized crime syndicate.